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US-led forces close in on 'death triangle’ as Iraqis gear up for vote

By: Hamoud Kufi

BAGHDAD, Iraq: US-led forces on Wednesday swept hotspots in “triangle of death” while Iraq's most wanted man, Jordanian Abu Musab Az-Zarqawi, hit out at ulema (Muslim theologians) for having 'betrayed the mujahedeen' especially in Iraq and Afghanistan as more than 200 Iraqi political parties gear up for vote.

The launch of the huge operation in the notorious area south of Baghdad on Tuesday came as the international community threw its weight behind the tight timetable for Iraq's first post-Saddam elections.

Some 5,000 American, British and Iraqi forces took part in Operation Plymouth Rock that began with raids on villages north of the city of Hilla, the capital of the province of Babylon, the US military said.

The towns of Latifiyah, Yusufiyah, Mahmudiyah and Iskandariyah lie inside the triangle of death, an area where terrorists have carried out strings of deadly attacks in recent months against Westerners besides pilgrims to Najaf and Karbala and followers of Ahlul Bayt (p).

Iraq was meanwhile pressing ahead with preparations for the elections. It would be the country's first free and multi-party ballots since 1954.

Electoral commission chief Abdel Hussein Al-Hindawi said over 200 Iraqi political parties have been approved for participation in the polls.

With the deadline for presenting full electoral lists only a week away, parties and organizations were in the final stages of discussions to form alliances ahead of the official launch of the campaign on December 15.

In January, Iraqis are set to elect 275 deputies to a national assembly, as well as 51 members of the Baghdad provincial council and 41 members for each of 17 other regional councils.

Meanwhile, Zarqawi, in a recording on an Internet site said: “Oh ulemas of the nation... you have betrayed us in the darkest circumstances. You have delivered us to our enemy... you have left the mujahedeen to confront (alone) the greatest world power.”

The tape’s authenticity could not be verified.

END

Muntakheb Ul  Aqwaal
"Knowledge is better than wealth because it protects you while you have to guard wealth. it decreases if you keep on spending it but the more you make use of knowledge ,the more it increases . what you get through wealth disappears as soon as wealth disappears but what you achieve through knowledge will remain even after you." MORE..
(Hazrat Ali Ibne Abi Talib (A.S)
 




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